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Indian Players Need to Develop an Attitude Like Megan Rapinoe, Feels Maymol Rocky

Megan Rapinoe, Maymol Rocky (Photo Credit: AIFF and AP)

Megan Rapinoe, Maymol Rocky (Photo Credit: AIFF and AP)

Maymol Rocky, coach of the Indian women's football team, said she tells her players to 'develop an attitude' like US superstar Megan Rapinoe.

Indian women's football team coach Maymol Rocky has urged her players to "develop an attitude" towards the game akin to 2019 FIFA World Cup Golden Ball and Golden Boot Award winner Megan Rapinoe.

Maymol said that she had once met Rapinoe during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France. "I had a small chat with Megan. Her attitude was simply amazing. She is one of the best players in the game. But she not arrogant or egoistic at all. But she had all the attitude around her. She has put in all the hard work to get to where she is today," Maymol said in a chat with AIFF TV.

"I tell my players that we should also have that same kind of attitude. She's an absolute role model for young girls out there."

"I had gone there with my mentor as a part of the FIFA programme. Watching the matches, I was just thinking about how it would feel had our team been out there on the pitch. It would have been unforgettable. It's going to be just that for the U-17 girls next year. I'll, of course, be there to cheer them from the stands," she said.

"After I came back, some of the players messaged me, saying they would have loved to come along with me. I told them it's not about just going there. It's about earning the right to be there," she added. "It's something that needs to be achieved."

"As the senior team coach, I'm really looking forward to the U17 WWC. Surely, we'll get some players for the Asian Cup 2022. When the base becomes stronger, scouting becomes tougher. We'll get more players for every position," she said.

"India is in the world map now for the U-17 World Cup. Everyone is looking at us. I am waiting to be at the stadium -- maybe as the scout, but mostly to cheer for the girls when they go out," she said.

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Maymol has been one of the leading scouts for women's football in India – preferring to be there herself in the domestic competitions. "AIFF has a wide scouting system in place. That helps a lot in terms of finding players from different areas. But I also like to do myself for which I prefer -- be it U-17 tournaments, Khelo India, National or State Championships."

She mentioned that the likes of Sweety Devi, Sandhiya Ranganathan and Manisha Kalyan – some of the youngsters whom she scouted and are not part of the Indian National Team.

"I make it a point for all National Team players and aspirants to be part of the Hero IWL. Not only do they play against National Team players, but the youngsters get to test themselves against the seniors."